Learner’s Submission: RBME in Tanzania

“Result Based Monitoring and Evaluation (RBME) is a powerful management tool that can be used to help policy makers and decisions makers track progress and demonstrate  the impact of a given project, program, or policy, it involves reforms by tracking results of government actions over time, RBME focuses on results (outcome) obtained rather than just on the inputs used or the activities conducted and therefore provides crucial information about performance, promotes credibility and stakeholders confidence by reporting on the results of the program.

Result Based monitoring is a continuous process of collecting and analyzing information on key indicators, comparing actual results to expected results, while result based evaluation  is an assessment of a planned, ongoing, or completed intervention to determine its relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact , and/or sustainability monitoring.

To increase demand for the RBME information will basically depend on the M&E Data Management system, the dimensions of data quality, and the M&E functional areas. And therefore the first and the most important strategy will be to establish an effective and efficient Monitoring and Evaluation Data Management System.

Through establishment of Data Management system this will produce high quality data which are reliable and accurate information and this can only be collected if the Data Management system is very efficient and effective. Data quality is important to any intervention (processes, policy, programs and projects) because any interventions are usually result oriented and therefore quality data are important to monitor and evaluate the progress towards these goals.

Having accurate information about intervention results allows program to show accountability, provide policy and decision makers (stakeholders) with information required for planning, resource allocation, process design, process/program/policy improvement, and effectiveness of the program. Correctly assess whether minimum standards exist for comprehensive service delivery, monitor progress towards meeting established organization goals and targets.

Poor data can hurt program/process/project in many ways in an organization example they have to use additional resources to correct the data, experience reduced stakeholder’s confidence and support, the organization may miss the opportunities to identify areas of strength or gaps in the process/program activities or face the undesirable consequences of inappropriate decisions based on poor data.

To strengthen the data management and reporting system, and improve the quality of the data that the system produces the following functional areas of the data management system must be well established.

Establishing Measuring and Evaluation structure, functions and capabilities

Data management and task identification:

Organization should ensure M&E staff assignment covers all required data management tasks and check if the key M&E data Management staff members are identified documented and have clear understanding of the assigned role and responsibilities. Accountability for M&E assignment is important to the accuracy, reliability, completeness and timeliness of the data.

Training of staff:

Organization ensure M&E staff members are prepared to fulfill their  M&E responsibilities, these requires that majority of key M&E and data management staff receive the  required training which should be tailored to the specific staff members M&E responsibilities.

Establishing Data reporting guideline.

Data reporting requirements should be clearly documented (i.e. what is reported to whom and how and when reporting is required),clear reporting requirements help staff members fulfill their reporting responsibilities consistently and promptly and can also help current and new M&E staff to keep up with their reporting responsibilities and improve data quality.

Defining Operational Indicator clearly:

Organizations should ensure the operational indicators definition meeting relevant standards that are systematically followed by all supervisors

Establishing and Using Data collection, Reporting forms and Tools:

Organization should ensure standards data collection and reporting forms are systematically used throughout the M&E data management system and data are recorded with sufficient precision/details to measure relevant indicators. A standardized system of checks and balances protect everyone from questions related to integrity of the data. Also important is to ensure source documents are kept and made available in accordance with written policy. This way staff will know how to keep relevant source documents and will file them so that they are easy to retrieve by reporting period.

Defining/Documenting Data management Processes

(i) Documentation of collection, aggregation and manipulation steps these can help process, program to identify any problems with or causes for delay in data management process.

(ii)  Setting up mechanism for addressing data quality challenges identified and also have clearly defined and followed procedures to identify and reconcile discrepancies (potential data errors) in reports

(iii) Having clearly defined and followed procedure to periodically verify source data. And to ensure that collection and reporting system of the program link to the other reporting systems (e.g. national reporting system) to avoid having parallel data system.” – Bareto Tieng’o – Tanga, Tanzania

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